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Mr Pololikashvili presenting at a conference in Asturias, Spain / Credit: Green Matters

On January 1, 2018, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili took over as Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations agency responsible for promoting responsible, sustainable, and universally accessible tourism.

GM: Many tourism professionals see sustainable tourism as necessary for the survival of the planet. Can sustainable tourism really make a difference?

ZP: While tourism brings socioeconomic development and inclusive growth to millions of people worldwide, its mismanaged expansion can put fragile environments at risk, deplete natural resources, and disrupt the social structures and cultural values of host communities – the very elements that tourism greatly depends on.

Sustainability is therefore tourism’s fundamental challenge and should be regarded as a comprehensive condition of the sector as a whole. This entails meeting the rising demands of today’s tourists while safeguarding the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of destinations and communities worldwide.

Read the full interview with Zurab Pololikashvili here.

By Ethan Gelber for Green Matters

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Image Source: BBC

Thai authorities are set to close the island of Koh Tachai, saying heavy tourism is negatively affecting natural resources and the environment. The island, off Phang Nga province, is part of the Similan National Park.

Almost all Thai marine national parks close to tourists from mid-May to mid-October for monsoon season but Tachai will not reopen, the Bangkok Post says. By BBC. Read more.

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Best Marine and Wildlife Tourism Provider – 2015 InSPIRE Awards

siddhalepaHealth Resort is nestled amidst tropical gardens along the picturesque coastal belt of Wadduwa Sri Lanka. Offering a unique combination of health, luxury and relaxation, this serene resort is part of the renowned Hettigoda Group – the creators of one of Sri Lanka’s much loved brands ‘Siddhalepa’.

Facing the sparkling blue Indian Ocean and secluded amidst tropical gardens, the resort combines contemporary luxury with age old traditions – not just in the healing therapies offered, but also in the architecture and the ambience. Set amidst an extensive tropical garden covering over 7 acres of Ayurvedic medicinal plants and trees it is a natural haven of beauty and a healing sanctuary of serenity and peace. Especially prepared dishes based on the Ayurvedic physician’s recommendation are served to guests who are undergoing treatment. While the focus is on authentic Sri Lankan cuisine, guests also have a choice of Chinese, Indian or Western food and the stylish speciality restaurant with beautiful views of the ocean offers an A La Carte menu.

The Ayurvedic spa at Siddhalepa Ayurveda Health Resort been recently revamped to have a completely new theme emulating Sri Lankan heritage, and many novel facilities such as individual water features are added to treatment rooms. Innovative treatments including a sea water Jacuzzi is included to the existing spa treatment menu. The spa specialises in providing a range of traditional Ayurvedic treatments that cleanse, detoxify and rejuvenate, using 100% natural resources under the supervision of experienced Ayurveda physicians. All treatments and therapies are based on ancient Ayurveda methods handed down over generations and the parent company, Hettigoda Industries manufacture all the products used – with 100% natural ingredients, mostly grown at own plantations. With their own training centre, even the doctors and therapists are trained by Siddhalepa guaranteeing the exceptional standards of quality offered to guests. From its inception, the resort has been dedicated to being environmentally conscious right from the architectural design to their day to day operations and the recent renovations also ensure further introductions of eco-friendly means and methods. The hotel’s green practices come under three categories: Energy Conservation, Water management and waste management.

 

For more information: Siddhalepa Ayurveda Health Resort Resorts website

Cuba’s Environmental Concerns Grow With Prospect of U.S. Presence

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1 July 2015: HAVANA — Like many of his countrymen, Jorge Angulo hopes the United States will lift the decades-old economic embargo against Cuba. But Dr. Angulo, a senior marine scientist at the University of Havana, is also worried about the effects that a flood of American tourists and American dollars might have. Read more.

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Farm Waste and Animal Fats Will Help Power a United Jet

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Photo: Growing pressure to reduce carbon emissions and lower costs has prompted airlines to seek environmentally friendly fuels. Credit United Airlines

Photo: Growing pressure to reduce carbon emissions and lower costs has prompted airlines to seek environmentally friendly fuels. Credit United Airlines

30 June 2015 – Sometime this summer, a United Airlines flight will take off from Los Angeles International Airport bound for San Francisco using fuel generated from farm waste and oils derived from animal fats.  Jad Mouawad and Diane Cardwell.  Read more.

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29 April 2015 – World Tourism Organization Secretary General Taleb Rifai reveals the biggest drivers of tourism development and how they will impact communities for years to come. A Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) interview. Read more.

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A review of the ways wildlife tourism can have positive effects on wildlife and their habitats, discusses the limited evidence regarding the extent to which these are currently being realised in Australia and make recommendations to enhance such effects.

by Karen Higginbottom, Chelsea Northrope and Ronda Green

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Positive Effects of Wildlife Tourism on Wildlife

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